PP goes solo after a bit of route training. Warning: Orange 5 content.

Ride partners seem to come and go through life. My latest bud is PP. He's mad keen. Never been mountain biking before, I leant him my Orange 5 for a day. He got home, bought one and has never looked back.

That was all of two months' ago. Since then he's done an All Biked Up level 3 course, has fallen off a few times, got lost more, yet is getting fitter and keener all the time. Quite frankly he shames me. I'm supposed to be the keen one, yet he does far more.

PP works odd shift patterns, so sometimes has time to burn during the week. I get the odd text asking if I can come out to play. Sometimes I can, sometimes not. Today was a not, but he kept me informed as to the ride. Here's his bike after trying to break 8 minutes up Box Hill. Looks remarkably clean for a muddy ride.



There was one detour; to look at the VW campers on display near Epsom. Apparently the guy restores them for a living. He's pretty good at his job - these things look straight and stunning. I'd have him work on my rig, if ever I had more than £2.70 spare in life.


Muddy here would like to take all the credit for PP being mad keen, and for moving him on in this sport. Realistically I've hacked more people off than encouraged - you see I like climbing hills, getting lost now and then, mud, or avoiding Leith Hill on a weekend. It's rare to find somebody who buys a mountain bike and then is frankly shocked that riding it sometimes, just sometimes, involves a bit of effort now and then. PP is the first really who has got this, and accepts it.

In over twenty years doing this, and perhaps thirty riders who have come out with me now and then, PP is the first I'd say is a true mountain biker.

Hats off to people like PP.

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